Some people have a money saving obsession. Is this the case for you?
We’ve all read the stories about those who spend money without much thought. The end is the same for all of them. They overspent and now are working out of debt. Some successfully and others not so much.
But, what about for those whom saving money is an obsession?
It may sound like a non-issue, but it happens. There are times when people become so laser focused on saving that it can have negative affects on one’s life. There is an irrational fear of spending anything at all, even on things that may be necessary.
While it is wise to save where you can, you certainly do not want to go to extremes in the other direction. How do you know if you an money saving obsession?
My own money saving obsession
I declared bankruptcy in 2002. It was one of the lowest moments in my life. Once I fully recovered from the emotional scars of my bankruptcy, I vowed to never let it happen again.
Unfortunately, that pushed me to the other extreme. Rather than overspending, I began not wanting to spend money….on almost anything.
I began to save, obsessively. I did not want to spend money on really anything at all. I would not even buy things that I needed. All of this was due to my own fear of spending and ending up back with no money at all.
It took me a few years, but I eventually found a way to strike the balance between spending and saving.
Are you obsessed with saving money?
It is not an easy thing to diagnose yourself. Sometimes, you have to really take a good, long look at what you are doing. You might find that you too have a money saving obsession. Here’s are things to consider.
You never have fun with your money.
Life is short. If you can’t have fun with your money, then what is the point of saving it? It is wise to have an emergency fund and to save for retirement. However, at what cost?
The way that you can still enjoy your money and keep your budget in check is by creating a “fun money” category. It is an amount you budget for from every paycheck. It is a simple way to still have fun, without going crazy. Your budget will still work and believe it or not – you’ll still be able to continue to save!
Read More: How to Budget and STILL Have Fun
You do not even know what you are saving for.
When you begin saving, there is usually a goal in mind. At first, it may be a fully funded emergency fund. It might even be to purchase a car or pay for a trip. But, what happens when you meet those goals. Are you continuing to save but are not sure why you are doing so?
Re-establish your savings goals again. Figure out why you are saving money. You may no longer need to save for a trip, but maybe you need to get a new car in a year. You might have college expenses coming up soon.
Define your savings goals to ensure you are saving for a specific reason.
You do not buy items you need because you think they are materialistic.
If you are wearing socks with holes in them, it is time to buy new ones. That is not being materialistic. New socks are something you need.
The way to look at spending on these items might be to spend a bit more for a better quality item that will last longer. Investing a bit more up front can actually save money in the future.
Don’t be afraid to buy the things you need.
You check your accounts daily (sometimes every few hours).
Knowing your account balances just makes good financial sense. Everyone should have an idea as to how much you have in your checking and savings accounts as well as credit balances and even investments. However, if you are checking these balances every day (or even multiple times a day), you have a money saving obsession.
To help break the cycle of checking the balances, set a reminder on your phone. To start, limit yourself to once a day. After 4 – 5 days, reduce that to every 2 – 3 days. You’ll still be able to monitor your finances without being so obsessed about it.
You don’t trust your spouse or partner with money.
This is a touchy one. If you don’t trust your partner with your finances, it can lead to bigger issues in your relationship. Do you really believe the person whom you love and care about would ever want to ruin you financially? Of course not.
Sit down and have a long discussion together about your budget and your financial goals. Determine them together and find a way for you to both have an equal responsibility when it comes to your financial health.
Read More: How to Talk Money With Your Partner
You fear losing it.
This was my own fear. Having had declared bankruptcy and the fear of losing financial control forced me have my own money saving obsession.
I also had a fear of losing money because we did not have much of it when I was growing up. My mom struggled to make ends meet. There were months when she was not sure she could even get food on the table. I never wanted to allow myself to never have enough money – ever.
I had to learn to let go. There is not an easy way to teach this. It is something you have to do yourself. I just really watched the budget and worked with my husband to overcome my fears.
You track your spending down to every penny.
This is one that will drive you crazy. There is no way to ever track your finances down to every penny, every single time. It will take you too much time and there is honestly, no need to do that.
Instead, learn to round your finances. That means if the amount is ends with $0.01 – $0.49, then round it down. If it is $.50 – $0.99, then round it up!
You will save yourself much unnecessary stress by rounding numbers.
Read More: How to Use the Cash Envelope System
Your paper trail covers years and years.
It is important to save and organize your important papers. There are items, such as receipts, which are needed for tax time or warranties.
If you still have the receipt for the shoes you purchased in 2008, it is time to let it go. Weed through your papers and shred necessary items and recycle them. You can even scan in those you fear getting rid of completely. That way, you still have them – but not the paper copy taking up space in your home.
If you find that you are denying yourself and/or those you love simple things in life, you may have a money saving obsession. Stop and do some self analysis. And remember, you can’t take it with you.